In 2001 Schooner Ernestina received an earmark in the state budget for operations in the amount of $250,000 thanks to Senator Mark Montigny and Reps. Cabral, Koczera, Rogers and Rodrigues. This amount of funding to cover the core costs enables the organization to function effectively and leverages private funding of all kinds.

Ships never leave the dock without a mission. In years past, Ernestina sailed to the Banks for fish, explored the Far North in the pursuit of knowledge and carried immigrants and mantenas across the Atlantic. Today, Ernestina is tapping educational resources from the sea as well as the immense richness of our maritime heritage, culture and people of our waterfront communities. New programs this year are sounding the depth of community involvement:

The New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus enables people to join with others in celebration of our maritime musical traditions.

During Stars in the Spars classic films of the sea are viewed in an authentic setting against the backdrop of the ship and the sounds and smells of the salt water harbor.

Festa da Ernestina brings some of the best musical traditions of Cape Verde, a maritime nation, to a waterfront plaza along with food and dance.

Ernestina’s logbooks and journals are being translated and transcribed to make the voyages and stories of the ship come alive and to understand Ernestina’s history in more detail.

The Ships to Save the Waters Conference last June brought people together from across the country to network and exchange ideas in the maritime setting of the New Bedford waterfront thanks to the inspiration of people like Pete and Toshi Seeger.

More staff time is being devoted to the development of membership, volunteer and internship programs as Laurie Weitzen comes ashore to focus a significant part of her time on the human resources.

New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus, a Schooner Ernestina volunteer activity, has completed a successful first season to rave reviews. Rehearsing once each week at Ernestina headquarters in New Bedford, the group of 43 singers learned a program of salty songs that delighted audiences throughout the spring and summer.

The chorus was created in January 2001, as a setting for learning and sharing traditional and contemporary songs of the sea, sung in harmonized arrangements in the tenor, baritone and bass vocal ranges. All were welcomed with no auditions.

Under the direction of Tom Goux, Ernestina’s Public Program Director, the singers served as musical and cultural ambassadors of both the legendary Schooner Ernestina and historic New Bedford. The season began for the chorus in June with performances at New Bedford’s Maritime Heritage Festival, where they All. June also saw the chorus in an AHA! Sandwich, where the group was joined in the Westport River Watershed Alliance’s Park included the chorus in their "Thursday NBHSCC’s final show on August 10, with chorus gave a mini-concert for the onboard of square riggers and, of course, a rousing deal of attention in the local press and was feed program from the Waterfront Visitors Center.

The chorus adjourned for the fall and began anew in January 2002. New members were welcomed at that time. No auditions necessary, only a sincere commitment to the weekly rehearsals and a performance schedule.

Schooner Ernestina Wins Gloucester Schooner Race

Schooner Ernestina sailed away with the trophy this year with Capt. Willi Bank in command and Reed’s Nautical Almanac Editor Carl Herzog sailing as tactician.

In light air, not typically an advantage for a ship that sails best in 20 or 25 knots, the strategy is what can capture the day. What will the wind do in the afternoon? How will the tide run? How can we get a little more out the sails? With more than 8,200 square feet of sail drawing, Capt. Bank threw every bit of canvas on! Then the decision to go on the inshore tack with other vessels favoring the offshore gave Ernestina what she needed in the building afternoon sea breezes.

"No, it wasn’t the tactics, it was Ernestina’s great karma!" hypothesized Capt. Amanda Madeira. One may be apt to believe this explanation considering the large round of support for the ship from the audience as Senator Ted Kennedy presented the trophy to Capt. Willi Bank and crew during the evening ceremonies.

Ernestina’s time for the 18 mile race was 5 hours 50 minutes, with Schooner Lettie G. Howard coming in second at 12 minutes later and Schooner Liberty Clipper third. Congratulations to the crew and thanks to Gloucester for all the great hospitality shown these schooners during this three day Labor Day weekend every year!

Festa da Ernestina

It was a perfect night for a party and at "Festa da Ernestina" a great time was had by all! On Saturday, August 18, starting at 5pm, the corner of Elm and N. Water Streets in New Bedford became "Plaza da Ernestina" in celebration of one of the great symbols Cape Verdean and Cape Verdean American cultural heritage: Schooner Ernestina. Sponsors were the Cape Verdean News, Integrity Mechanical Contractors, Inc., the Cape Verdean-American Veterans Association, Merchant Mariners Social Club, the Bisca Tournament Club, the Exxon Annuity Club, the Essence Grille, and The Potting Bench.

The neighboring Essence Grille served food and drink, both indoors and out, offering their usual menu, along with special Cape Verdean cuisine items as part of the celebration.

Thanks for the authentic menu items is due to Mrs. Joyce Cruz, who volunteered not only her recipes, but came in to help Essence Grille’s executive chef, Loretta Imbriglio, prepare for the festa! Other volunteers helping Ernestina staff to produce and host the event were Toni DePina, Irene and Bill Morin and Paul and Louise Anthony.

Festive décor included a canopy of lights, colorful table decorations and miniature Schooner Ernestina replicas. The air was filled with the music of the popular Ivo Pires Band, widely known for their lively, authentic repertoire of traditional and contemporary Cape Verdean dance music. The aroma of Cape Verdean dishes mixed with the echoes of the mornas and the coladeras, as friends, old and new, took to the dance floor.

Featured speakers were Tom Lopes, editor of the Cape Verdean News and Laura Pires, one of the original organizers of the movement to bring Ernestina from Cape Verde back to the U.S. in the 1970’s. Laura spoke of the dedicated early efforts of those who began the work of preservation and organizational growth and commended the ongoing efforts of all friends of Ernestina. Tom, likewise, was active during that period as a state representative and worked on the political front to develop the Commonwealth legislation creating the Schooner Ernestina Commission.

Current Schooner Ernestina Commissioners Dr. Bruce Rose and Judge Bettina Borders were in attendance. Laura Pires was recognized for her efforts by Tom Lopes.


Schooner Ernestina @ F.A. Sowle Building
89 North Water Street
New Bedford, MA
June 1 & 2, 2001

Pete Seeger, founder and mentor of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, envisions the Ships to Save the Waters (StStW) Conference as a venue for networking water-based programs, sharing environmental educational methodologies and exposing the work of educational ships to the public-at-large. Hosting organizations have invited ships and small boat programs with environmental messages to participate in a weekend where environmental issues and education will harmonize with the Maritime Heritage Day and the Center Street Fair in the Historic Waterfront District and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

The waters of the world are precious. Traditional sailing vessels and small water craft are magical places where waters share their secrets and expose our vulnerability. StStW brings these special ships and boats together, broadcasts their message and recruits new stewards for sustainable, healthy world waters for this and future generations.

To inform and inspire the creation and sustainability of water-borne programs for protection, preservation, restoration and celebration of our waters. More specifically, conference participants will take a close look at the Buzzards Bay region and develop a model for using natural, cultural and educational resources in a collaborative way to serve the stated mission.

To read more about these conferences and look at transcripts please go to the SSW pages.

Pete Seeger with Tom Goux and Steve Sullwold

Gregg Swanzey and Pete Seeger at the SSW Conference

Chris Newlan talks about Long Island Sound Resources

Traudi Coli with Toshi Seeger during a break




2001 Management & Land-based Program Staff
 Tom Goux,
Public Program Director
 Annie McDowell, Accountant
 Gregg Swanzey, Executive Director
 Laurie Weitzen, Steward/Volunteer Coordinator
 Polly Zajac, Shore-based Program Coordinator

2001 Shipboard Program Staff
 Claire Arbour,
 Elisabete Baker, Deckhand
 Monika Bang-Campbell, Relief Steward
 William Bank, Captain & Marine Superintendent
 Erika Boulware, Deckhand
 Ken Cabral, Relief Steward
 Brenda Candida, Steward
 Scott Cann, Chief Mate
 Waltraud Coli, Anthropologist/Archivist
 Jonathan Hart, Deckhand
 Carl Herzog, Mate
 Stephen Kirk, Mate
 Amanda Lake, Mate
 Rebecca Lund, Deckhand
 Amanda Madeira, Captain & Operations Director
 Liz Maloney, AB Certificate
 Crista Mellican, Shipboard Program Coordinator
 Patrick Merrill, AB Certificate
 Sophie Morse, Captain
 Doug Nemeth,
Relief Captain
 Inette Rex,
Shipboard Program Coordinator
 Erica Sachs, Mate
 Greg See, Deckhand
 Gordon Sims, Mate
 Fred Sterner, Mate
 Michael Stewart, AB Certificate
Stephen Swift,
 Doralee Zeneberg, Steward

2001 Interns & Apprentices
 Calvin Arterberry
 Jessica Bryant
 Julia Hankin
 Natalie Mendes
 Nathan Mendes
 Gil Pires
 Giovanni Poles
 Jeremiah Wooley

For more stories please follow the link to the newsletter from the outreach page...

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